No One Noticed Fisherman in Need Skip to content

No One Noticed Fisherman in Need

Fisherman Fjólmundur Fjólmundsson drifted alone in his life-raft for five hours on Skagafjördur fjord after his boat sank on Saturday night. The Coast Guard did not receive his emergency signals and no one detected his emergency flares from land.

“I was just on my way home,” Fjólmundsson told Morgunbladid. “Suddenly the boat hit something and there was a loud crack. At the time I was in the rear of the boat working on fish that I had caught. I went to the front to see what had happened and noticed that the boat was leaking.”

Fjólmundsson believes his boat hit floating drift wood. His first reaction was to get his mobile phone but it had been thrown from a shelf and he couldn’t locate it in the dark. “It was unusually dark.”

The fisherman then got his life-raft and switched the emergency transmitter on, but for some reason the Coast Guard did not receive his signals until four or five hours later.

“I was certain that it wouldn’t take long,” Fjólmundsson said, adding that he had hoped rescue services would arrive within 30 minutes so that his boat could be saved. But no one came.

“No one noticed,” Fjólmundsson said. In desperation he shot two emergency flares and lit two hand-held torches. In the distance he could see traffic lights on land, but neither motorists nor other fishermen noticed his emergency signals.

The fisherman then drifted in his raft on Skagafjördur for one hour until he began drifting towards the rocky Thórdarhöfdi promontory. “It is only a rubber raft which could have torn on the rocks. Then the ocean would have been next.”

Fjólmundsson then began rowing to avoid the hazardous rocks and had rowed for four hours when emergency services located him, only 15 meters from land. They were called out after his wife contacted them, reporting that her husband’s boat had not returned to the pier.

“I had become very exhausted,” Fjólmundsson said. “You have to be prepared to save yourself. Don’t count on others.” The fisherman said that for the 45 years that he has gone fishing he has never had an experience like this. He considers himself lucky.

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